Brewer's Droop #230
A NIGHT IN DODGE CITY
I had to spend one night in Johannesburg recently and a friend kindly offered to put me up for the night.
Flew up and back on SAA and, much to my surprise, it was a most enjoyable experience. Friendly and attentive staff. Comfortable seats – enjoyable all the way until I got to Joburg and the nightmare began.
Took the Gautrain into Sandton and then, for the first time, took a Gautrain Bus to Rivonia, followed by a gentle stroll to my friend’s house. All very civilised and efficient.
Had a little catch-up with his family. Changed clothes and we went out to an industry function (about 5 blocks away I believe). One thing I forgot though was my cell phone – which I’d left on his dining room table. I wasn’t particularly worried. I mean, who was I going to phone anyway?
[Insert: write down the most important phone numbers you may need to know and keep them in a safe place on your person – in the event that you lose your phone. You’ll thank me for this one day.]
Later in the evening (it was a cocktail party) we decided to walk to a very pleasant restaurant in the same building. At this stage I should point out that, perhaps, I may have had a few tee many martoonies.
After dinner, outside the restaurant (and by now it was raining quite hard) my mate said “you stay right here and I’ll go and fetch the car”.
Thirty seconds later a taxi pulls up and asks “did you call for a cab?”
“I can’t remember” I said as I climbed into the car.
“Where to?” he asked and I said it was so-and-so street, just up the road and added that I didn’t know the number but would recognise the house when I saw it.
Off we went.
Some time later he said “okay, where’s the house” so I said to just drive slowly and I’d tell him where to stop. We went up and down a couple of times and he was getting agitated. So I said “are we in so-and-so street?” and he said yes we were – in fact we were stopped on the corner of Rivonia Road.
He demanded that I give him my cellphone and my wallet.
I told him that (a) I didn’t have a cell phone otherwise I would have phoned my friend wouldn’t I? Duh. And (b) there was no way in hell I was going to give him my wallet.
Yes, I know that was stupid. I’m far from fit, older than God and well past my prime but these chancers can get fucked.
Then I saw a police car slowly cruising up Rivonia Road so, ignoring the torrential rain, I got out and flagged them down.
There was a conference (of sorts) and I said “I just want to get to so-and-so street and then I’ll be home”.
Both the police and the taxi driver told me we were on the corner of that street. It was like something from a bad dream – it couldn’t be! I didn’t recognise anything.
“In Rivonia?” I asked just to be sure.
Yes. We were in Rivonia.
Now, here comes the problem. I didn’t know anyone’s number. Not even my wife’s or my home number. Everything’s on speed dial on my cell phone – which was presumably still on the dining room table.
The police couldn’t help me any further so they drove off (thanks a million, guys) which left me and the driver.
“I want R1,000” he said.
Using some very colourful language I explained to him that I appreciated I’d wasted his time and, for that, I would give him R500 (way too much actually).
“No. You will give me R1,000.”
I said “you’ll have to kill me first and, since the cops know who you are, that’s not a good idea.” (Granted there was some logic there – but far more stupidity than logic). So we parted – not on good terms – and I was left standing in the rain, as wet as if I’d jumped into a swimming pool, not knowing where the hell I was.
I wandered around for a long time trying to find this street and, in the end, gave up and decided to check into a hotel.
On the way to the hotel I had in mind I saw a Shell garage which looked familiar – on the other side of Rivonia Road. And I had an epiphany.
I went over to the petrol pump guy and asked if I could use his phone. He had no money on it (he said) so I gave him R20 and, miraculously the phone DID have time on it and he dialled MY cell phone number (the only one I know). I thought I had a 10% chance of someone hearing it.
Thankfully my friend’s son did and I told him where I was and he said “I’ll be there in 5 minutes”. What a star! I’ll return the favour one day with plenty of interest on top! He may well have saved my life.
On the way home I called my wife to tell her I was okay (I’d assumed that someone had told her I was missing) and she said “what the hell – it’s two ‘clock in the morning! Why are you waking me up?” so that was another bad idea.
Got home. Peeled off all my clothes and fell into a damp slumber.
Strangely, I didn’t have a hangover the next day. I guess that’s what fear and a really good soaking does for you! Well, that, and the realisation that, despite being as stupid as a Cabinet Minister, I was still alive.
Oh yes, ‘So-and-so’ street actually crosses Rivonia road. I didn’t realise that but you’d think the police and the taxi driver would (wouldn’t you?)
CORRUPTION OF ENGLISH
This is aimed at nobody in particular but, from time to time, you see people having huge rants against people using their cell phones 23 hours out of 24 and using abbreviations like LMAO and LOMBARD (for those of you who are acronym-challenged they mean “Laughing My Ass Off” and “Lots Of Money But A Right Dickhead”). There are millions of others.
Next time you see someone criticising someone else’s poor use of English, go to a few of your own messages and see how many times you’ve written “Wow” and “Awesome”. It’s scary and you’ll be ashamed of yourself.
For starters, “awesome” means to be afraid, really afraid, of something (what the Americans think it means doesn’t count for a damn thing – it’s a frightening word not a jolly one) and “wow” is just an upside-down mother.
Is that the best you can do? Really?
Put some effort and thought into your replies – it’s called communication.
FOR THE RECORD
And the communication experts are:
AdFocus winners 2014
African Agency Network of the Year: Ogilvy Africa
Envy Award: FCB Johannesburg for “Rainbow for a Rainbow Nation”
Digital Agency of the Year: Hellocomputer
New Broom Award: Zibusiso Mkhwanazi
Branding and Design Agency of the Year: Interbrand Sampson De Villiers
Student of the Year: Tarryn Chudleigh
Media Agency of the Year: MindShare SA
Agency Leader of the Year: Philip Ireland, John Davenport, Sue Napier, Adene van der Walt (Ireland/Davenport)
Specialist Agency of the Year: 34
Partnership of the Year: King James and brandhouse for Bells Extra Special Scotch Whisky
Agencies’ Agency of the Year: Joe Public
Advertising Agency of the Year: Joe Public
Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Rightford
YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?
Read this on Twitter (Wow, this is awesome, LOL):
Them: ‘Could you fax over a copy?’
Me: ‘No, I can’t fax because of where I live’
Them: ‘Where do you live?’
Me: ‘The 21st century.’
RIGHT THEN, I’M OFF!
Been looking forward to this for more sleeps than I can count! Going to see my sons and allow them to buy me Guinness. Lots of it.
A very blessed Christmas to all Christians. And for those who don’t celebrate this day, such as Muslims, Jews, a thousand other religions and finally, Atheists (when is their day I wonder?) may your holidays over this time be peaceful and loving and when your high-point day comes around I wish you many blessings then too.
(Now you can’t get any more PC than that!)
And please everyone be safe on the roads, travel a few KPH slower – you’ll be a couple of minutes late but who cares? Better you turn up late than they have to identify you in a body bag and cancel everything.
Love to one and all (except that bastard up the street who plays his music too loud).
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